Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: Iceland is the perfect place to enjoy a winter trip full of adventure, icy landscapes and the chance to see the elusive Northern Lights. This unique island in the North Atlantic is one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries and has extensive volcanic and geothermal activity. Geologically speaking, Iceland is one of the youngest countries in the world since it only began to rise from the North Atlantic seabed about 25 million years ago. It is the product of volcanic eruptions that are still ongoing. On average, a volcano in Iceland erupts every five years, fortunately rarely where anyone lives.
Why not explore the land of fire and ice with guided visits to volcanoes, lava fields, hot springs and magnificent glaciers? During this tour you visit Iceland’s most popular sites such as the Golden Circle route, the South coast and Vatnajökull national park. On route you see cascading waterfalls, smoking geysers, colourful volcano craters, a spectacular ice lagoon with floating icebergs and black lava beaches, all set against a backdrop of glistering glaciers and restless geology. Besides, there is always a thrilling potential for the night sky to be decorated with the jewels of the amazing aurora borealis. Imagine the excitement to search for the most spectacular – and natural – light show on earth. Cross your fingers for clear skies, wrap up warm, and don’t forget your camera with a tripod when you try to catch sight of the Northern Lights in Iceland.
New Year’s eve is spent in Reykjavik including a festive dinner at Kopar Restaurant at Reykjavík down town harbour. This is a good location to stroll around Reykjavik at midnight, follow the crowd to the best party places and of course witness the “crazy” fireworks in Iceland’s capital.
Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: Trip Highlights
Golden Circle tour with Thingvellir national park, Geysir hot springs, Gullfoss waterfall and Kerið volcano crater
South coast with glaciers, waterfalls and lava beaches
Vatnajökull national park with Europe’s largest glacier and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
2-nights stay in the countryside, ideal for Northern Lights hunting
2 evenings of lectures, presentations, film and guided Northern Lights searches
Visit to multi media presentation at the Volcano House in Reykjavík
Visit to Kerið volcano crater
Festive New Year’s eve dinner at Kopar Restaurant at Reykjavik downtown harbour
This program includes during 2 evenings a combination of presentations, lectures, film and guided searches at spots that are likely to offer a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights. All countryside accommodation in this program offer a Northern Lights wake up call for guests that register for that special service at the reception. The tour is dependent on weather and therefore Northern Lights sightings are not guaranteed. The Northern Lights are in the northern hemisphere from September through April but are only visible when the sky is clear and free of clouds. Like many natural wonders, the Northern Lights are ephemeral – they may be visible, they may appear for a bit and then be gone (it is not a TV show that you can just turn on and off). But it is worth the patience which is much required. Because they are a winter event, you need to be prepared to wait outside while looking for them. It is best to dress very warmly, in layers, with good footwear, gloves, hats and whatever else will make you comfortable while you patiently await this truly outstanding light show. For the best photos we recommend using a tripod.
Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: SUN, 28.12.15:
WELCOME TO ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
Welcome! Your exciting tour of Iceland begins today. The Flybus shuttle brings you from Keflavík International Airport to the accommodation in Reykjavík where you spend the night. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland’s capital on your own, dinner suggestions too! Food lovers will be pleased and perhaps even impressed by the number of diverse restaurants in Reykjavík. Many award winning chefs create delicious Icelandic cuisine that is characterized by an imaginative use of local ingredients such as fresh seafood, organic lamb and wild game; but be sure to try the fabulous Icelandic hotdog and pizza too!
Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: MON, 29.12.15:
THE GOLDEN CIRCLE ROUTE (220 km/136 mls)
At 08:30 meet your tour guide and start the escorted tour program with short introduction to Icelandic geology while watching a striking film at Reykjavik Volcano House documenting the eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull and Fimmvörðulháls in 2010, which caused millions of people to be stranded worldwide as thousands of flights were cancelled. These films give a good insight into the general geology and volcanology of Iceland. At the Volcano House you can experience a hands-on geological exhibition where you can examine various pieces of pumice, ash and lava from Icelandic volcanoes. Later on we depart Reykjavik for Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, and where the Althingi, the oldest legislative assembly in the world was founded. This is one of Iceland’s most fascinating places both geologically and for the role it plays in the country’s history and sense of national identity. Thingvellir is also remarkable for reasons of natural science, as the site is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, and is situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The faults and fissures of the area make evident the rifting of the earth’s crust.
Exploring the hot springs at Geysir is like watching a geography lesson in real life: natural springs bubbling away in the ground until the pressure becomes too much – and they explode in spectacular style. Geysir and Strokkur are the two biggest of the geysers there. While Geysir no longer is active, Strokkur still spouts every 5 to 15 minutes to the delight of visitors. Next we travel to Gullfoss, “the golden falls“, which is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river. Gullfoss is one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls. In the evening, you hear about the Northern Lights from your tour guide. Naturally, once darkness falls, you are out in the garden waiting for the Northern Lights. We stay for one night in simple cottages in South Iceland.
Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: TUE, 30.12.15:
VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK & GLACIER LAGOON (385 km/239 mls)
A long drive brings us to a world of glaciers, ice and icebergs. We travel to Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs. We explore this extraordinary site and perhaps see some seals swimming in the arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach where large icebergs get stranded. The Vatnajökull National Park is about 12,000 square kilometers and it is the largest National Park in Europe. In this area we find Iceland’s highest mountains, an alpine environment and Europe’s largest glacier. Tonight you can enjoy a movie presentation about Northern Lights as a part of the Northern Lights educational program. Be careful not to go to bed too soon in this remote and quiet location, or you may just miss out one more chance of seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky. We stay for one night at Fosshotel Núpar in the Vatnajökull region.
Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: WED, 31.12.15:
SOUTH COAST & NEW YEAR’S DINNER (305 km/189 mls)
Today, we head across the Laki lava field to the village of Vík where we make a photo stop. We take a stroll on the black lava beach and along the bird cliffs at Reynisfjara beach in South Iceland. We pass the glacier Mýrdalsjökull and the infamous volcano Eyjafjallajökull and continue to Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and belongs to the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain. There‘s a trail that goes behind the fall which is interesting – if you are prepared to get wet! In the evening you return to Reykjavik for one last night. A transfer bus will bring you to the New Year’s eve dinner at Kopar Restaurant at the downtown harbour. This is the perfect location to stroll in the center , follow to crowd to the best parties and enjoy the “crazy” and one of kind fireworks in Iceland’s capital. Return to the hotel on your own.
Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: THU, 01.01.16:
DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
We hope you’ve enjoyed your trip to Iceland. Today marks the end of your tour. Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle from your guesthouse accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport.
It is also possible to extend the program in Reykjavík.
Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: Daily driving:
Total mileage without airport transfer is 910 km / 564 miles which is an average of 303 km (188 miles) per day, about 4 hours per day will be spent on the bus. On some days the driving might be longer than on some other days.
Tours departs throughout December to January each year.
Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: Pricing due to currency fluctuations and seasonal changes please inquire for the best possible price.
Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: What’s Included
Arrival & departure airport transfer by FLYBUS
Fully escorted 3-day bus tour with an English-speaking guide
4-nights accommodation in simple tourist-class hotels and cottages including breakfast
2x 2-course dinner and 2x midnight refreshment on day 2 and 3
Entrance to Kerið volcano crater
Visit to a multi media presentation at the Volcano House in Reykjavík
Northern Lights program during 2 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for the Northern Lights
Use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment: simple non-slip snow & ice grippers spikes for shoes and a flash light that is helpful when walking in the dark and operating your photo camera at night
5-course New Year’s Gala Dinner at Kopar Restaurant at Reykjavik downtown harbour
In the countryside, a 2-course dinner is included. If you have any special diet requests or allergies, please let us know at the moment of your booking.
For lunch the group will either stop at road side shops or restaurants.
Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: Hotels
Accommodation is provided in simple but clean tourist-class hotels and cottages, in rooms with private facilities. The groups will stay at the following accommodations (subject to change):
Reykjavík: Fosshotel Baron first and last night
South Iceland: Árhús Cottages, where 23 rooms with shower/wc are located in simple cottages in the large garden right on the river banks in the village of Hella.
Southeast Iceland: Fosshótel Núpar near Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: What’s NOT included:
In Reykjavik, the dinner is on your own. There are many restaurants for both fast food and a fine a la carte dining in Iceland’s capital.
Any extra local transport (subways, taxis, buses) unless covered by the included passes
Any entrance fees unless otherwise specified
Baggage handling & luggage forwarding
In rare cases, change of itinerary might be necessary during winter programs in Iceland, should snow, road and weather conditions not allow to follow the scheduled itinerary, and certain outdoor activities might be cancelled. In this case no refund will be given but we will try to find reasonable alternatives where and when ever possible.
Northern Lights Volcanoes and Glacier: Accommodation changes and upgrade are available for all our Iceland Tour, make an inquiry now
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